Radio Funding & Grants Radio & TV Stations

What is PTFP?

For the past 40 years, PTFP has played a major role in the development of public broadcasting throughout the United States. With the program’s assistance, a public television signal now reaches about 95% of our nation’s population and public radio reaches approximately 90% of the population. The program also funds radio reading services, closed captioning and descriptive video services for the disabled, and numerous distance learning facilities that provide instructional programming for students and professionals.

Who May Apply?

Eligible applicants must be:

a) a public (noncommercial) broadcast station or group of such stations; or
b) a nonprofit organization organized primarily for educational or cultural purposes; or
c) a State or local government, Indian Tribe or a political or special purpose subdivision of a State.

Click here for specific information in the PTFP Rules about eligibility.

What type of projects does PTFP fund?

PTFP is a competitive, matching grant program that supports the planning for and construction of

a) public (noncommercial) radio and television stations;
b) distance learning telecommunications facilities using nonbroadcast technologies, such as microwave, fiber optic cable, satellite distribution, and Instructional Television Fixed Internet Service (ITFS);
c) public telecommunications services and facilities available to, operated by and controlled by minorities and women; and,
d) projects which strengthen the capability of existing public TV and radio stations to serve the public.

PTFP classifies applications into several categories and funding priorities. Click here for specific information in the PTFP Rules (ยง2301.4) about funding priorities.

What are the guidelines for PTFP funding?

Construction Projects. PTFP awards funds to eligible entities to purchase equipment required to provide public telecommunications services.

PTFP is limited by law to providing no more than 75% of eligible project costs for a construction project.

PTFP’s general policy is to provide no more than 50% Federal funding for projects to replace, augment, or improve equipment at operating public broadcasting stations.

Exceptions to this general policy are contained in 2301.6(b)(1)(ii) of the PTFP regulations.

Planning Projects. PTFP can fund up to 100% of eligible project costs. PTFP regulations indicate, however, that there is a general presumption of no more than 75% Federal funding for planning projects.

See 2301.6(a)(2) of the PTFP regulations for exceptions.

Nonbroadcast Projects. PTFP’s dollar limits are the same for broadcast and nonbroadcast projects. By law, however, PTFP can only fund nonbroadcast projects which activate a new public telecommunications facility or extend the service of an existing public telecommunications facility.

See the November 22, 1991, Policy Statement for further information on nonbroadcast applications.

How are applications evaluated?

All applications are reviewed by outside peer panels and evaluated according to the following six criteria: Applicant Qualifications, Project Objectives, Urgency, Technical (or Planning) Qualifications, Financial Qualifications, and Involvement of Women and Minorities.

Click here for specific information in the PTFP Rules about the evaluation criteria.